When it comes to doing your taxes, there are plenty of reasons why you should file early this year. Though it’s true that the sooner you file, the sooner you will get your refund, another reason to make the mad dash to do your tax return is to prevent fraud. The IRS prevents millions of cases of would-be fraud each year, so it’s your job to do everything you can to ward off scam artists. The staff at ADS Guards, one of the top security companies in San Jose, shares a few tips that can help keep you from becoming a statistic.
Avoid Opening Tax-Related Emails
Known as one of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams, phishing is a common tax fraud scheme. Criminals send an official-looking email that dupes you into clicking on links and visiting websites that resemble the real IRS website. Email senders may also pretend to be from a financial institution or take on the role of a friendly tax software provider. They may even encourage you to divulge your personal information, which they can use to file a false tax return.
Be Wary of Strange Calls from the IRS
People who are trying to scam you may call and pretend to be IRS agents who threaten to arrest you if you don’t give them money. The IRS will never call you asking for money. If someone does call you pretending to be from the IRS, try to trace the phone number. You can then call the real IRS and report them.
Choose a Reputable Tax Preparer
Most people don’t think twice about who is preparing their taxes, but if you’re not careful you can get scammed. The IRS encourages taxpayers to weigh the pros and cons when choosing their tax preparer. Just about anyone with an IRS tax identification number can do your taxes, but only attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents can represent you with the IRS. Before you make a final decision, verify the preparer’s credentials. Take advantage of the IRS’s directory to make sure the person you’ve chosen is authorized to prepare your taxes.
Be cautious if the preparer:
- Makes promises about the amount of your refund
- Calculates fees based on the amount of your refund, not an hourly rate or flat fee
- Encourages you to pay for extra services like reimbursement if he or she makes a mistake
Protect Yourself from potential scammers.
It’s important to be vigilant about how you file your taxes as well. If you plan to file online, make sure you log off completely when finished. In addition, don’t leave your tax forms in your car or anywhere someone could see them. If possible, shred any paperwork you no longer need before throwing it away. Filing your taxes early is another great way to protect
The IRS works hard to prevent tax fraud, but you also need to do your part. Take the time to review information on their website and take the necessary steps to protect your identity. If you suspect fraudulent activity, contact the IRS immediately.
For additional tips on preventing income tax fraud, reach out to ADS Guards, a trusted provider of professional security services in San Jose, CA. We provide armed and unarmed guards for commercial and residential spaces as well as special corporate events. To learn more, call one of our friendly representatives at 1-800-794-1550 today.